In my last process post, "Setting it Up", I outlined all of the steps I took to set up my website. This included my design thought process, as well as exactly where I wanted my content to reside. I mentioned that I used a mind map to help guide my vision, so I decided I might as well show you exactly how this came to be. Please see below!
For this week's process post, we have been asked to consider the idea of "going offline", in relation to Craig Mod's experience described in "How I Got My Attention Back".
Mod begins this piece by discussing all the different forms of technology and media he finds himself frequently endlessly consumed in. He recounts his minor Clash of Clans addiction, and acknowledges that he "could live on Twitter all day, everyday" (Mod, 2017). I found this part relatable and rather amusing, as I too could easily live on Twitter all day, everyday.
But its not just Twitter, there's also Instagram, Snapchat, Tiktok, Youtube, Facebook, and more to be checked; with new ones popping up everyday. And if you miss even just one day of checking these sites, it can feel like you missed a whole chapter of a book that you didn't even know you were reading! This is due to the incredible level of connectivity we have with each other thanks to technology, allowing messages, news, and celebrity drama, to move quicker than ever before.
In his article, Mod decides that he is done with his attention being tethered to technology and media, and chooses to "go offline" for one month, in attempts to take his attention back. However, Mod found that he quickly lost his attention as soon as he returned to the online sphere, with his mind returning to latching onto whatever dopamine sources were readily available (Mod, 2017).
While I admire Mod's mission to take his attention back by going offline, I am unsure if I would be able to do so myself, nor would I want to.
On one hand, I can relate to Mod's desire to have further control over my attention and effectively direct it to things that are meaningful to me, instead of towards pointless internet content. However, the world we live in has become so interconnected with technology and media, that I truly do not think I would be able to live the same sort of life I do now, if I were to go completely offline.
For example, I am a fourth year university student who spends substantial time on the internet doing research for course assignments and collaborating with classmates. If I were to go offline, completing these assignments would become infinitely more challenging. I would now have to conduct all my research by sifting through library books, and would not be able to easily collaborate with my peers.
On a more personal level, all of my social communications are conducted through technology. Therefore, going offline would leave me nearly completely disconnected from all of my friends and family. Of course I would be able to see them in person, but how can one even schedule that without a path for communication? This is a large reason that even if I could comfortably go offline, I would not want to, as I would feel lonely and left out from my social circles.
A practice that I do find intriguing, and one that I could see myself implementing into my own life, is Mod's two rules following his return to the internet. These rules being:
1. The internet goes off before bed
2. The internet doesn’t return until after lunch
I feel that these rules are a nice middle ground, as they allow for one's attention muscle to be exercised and trained (Mod, 2017). However, one does not have to lose their connectivity to the world around them. Because in 2022, I do not believe that going offline can be truly realistic, nor enjoyable, for anyone.
So now I ask you - could you ever go offline?
Mod, C. (2017, January 13). How I got my attention back. Wired. https://www.wired.com/2017/01/how-i-got-my-attention-back/#.djqfcpajo